New Demo Farm Features Advanced Ag Techniques

Project focuses on conservation methods that impact soil health and profits


A new farm outside Ames, Iowa, is helping students, agronomists, and growers understand how sustainable growing methods, along with John Deere’s advanced technology, are helping revolutionize agriculture.

A birdseye view of the test farm

The new 80-acre demonstration farm is a partnership between Deere and Iowa State University (ISU). The farm’s eight individual fields not only turn science into practice, but provide a hub for agronomic data collection while mirroring growers’ real life management techniques and decision making.

“We want to demonstrate management strategies with various levels of sustainability at commercial scale,” said Andy Greenlee, senior staff engineer for sustainability solutions. “It’s about learning and reaching positive results quicker and gaining a deeper understanding of a production system by operating one of our own. It’s about showing the value of the land.”

The five-year project begins by focusing on how various conservation methods—from strip tillage to cover crops—can impact soil health and profits.

Greenlee said the project is an example of John Deere’s Leap Ambitions in action, as it gives the company an opportunity to show visitors the progress it’s making toward achieving its Leap Ambitions focused on enhancing ag customer outcomes by 2030.